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Adelaide Festival shows win big at the Helpmann Awards 2017

27 July 2017

The Helpmann Awards are an annual event acknowledging the best performing arts events in Australia of the year that has been.

We were thrilled that the Adelaide Festival took home an incredible seven awards at the very prestigious national Helpmann Awards ceremony in Sydney on Monday 24 July, 2017.

Adelaide Festival’s mind-blowing and extravagant opera, Barrie Kosky’s Saul, was easily the night’s biggest winner, winning six out of the seven categories it was nominated for, including Best Opera. Acclaimed theatre production The Encounter was also a winner last night for Best Sound Design.

Adelaide Festival Awards:

  • Best Opera, Saul (see half of our Artistic Director team, Rachel Healy accept this award at 2h43m35s)
  • Best Direction of an Opera, Barrie Kosky, Saul (see video at 2h 05m 45s)
  • Best Male Performer in an Opera, Christopher Purves, Saul
  • Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera, Kanen Breen, Saul
  • Best Lighting Design, Joachim Klein, Saul
  • Best Music Direction, Erin Helyard, Saul
  • Best Sound Design, Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The Encounter

A very big thank you to our partners including the State Opera of South Australia, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre. Barrie Kosky’s Saul could not have happened without the support of the State Government of South Australia, especially the Premier Jay Weatherill and the Arts Minister Jack Snelling. This project was also assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

It was also a very special night for our Executive Director, Rob Brookman, who was awarded the Sue Nattrass Award for a life-time of service and excellence in facilitating the arts. He’s a born and bred Adelaide boy who’s had an enormous influence in creating the cultural city of Adelaide that we all enjoy. Watch his heart-felt and inspiring acceptance speech in the recording above at 28 minutes, 30 seconds.

Congratulations as well to South Australia’s Windmill Theatre Company’s Amber McMahon for winning Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play, for her work in Girl Asleep, and Adelaide-born-and-trained dancer Lucy Guerin’s show Attractor, performed at Womadelaide, for Best Dance Production and Best Choreography.

Read The Advertiser’s article here and the full list of winners can be seen at